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A Decade Ago: Mom Tri dreams of developing new International Baccalaureate school

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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A Decade Ago: Mom Tri dreams of developing new International Baccalaureate school | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Mom Luang Tridhosyuth Devakul, probably better known on the island simply as ‘Mom Tri’, scored page one a decade ago with his dream of developing a new International Baccalaureate (IB) school for the island.

With a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard – the real Harvard – Mom Tri was an early visionary leader, recognizing Phuket’s potential and was instrumental in the development of the Phuket International Airport, as well as a number of other properties on the island, such as the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, which in 1986 was the island’s first luxury hotel and is now reopened as ‘The Nai Harn’.

The vision for the IB school was beautiful and was to include an ‘integrated community’ with the school at its heart. There was also to be a residential development, sports facilities and a library.

Unfortunately, the plan neither bloomed nor bore fruit. Instead, it has merely become a foot note in the development of educational institutes on the island.

Though the Phuket Gazette was keeping it classy and staying in-tune with the community with the lead in the October 15-21 2005 issue, there was plenty of titillating sensationalism with the sidebar headline: Bar busted for under-age male prostitution.

The gist of the story should be pretty well understood from the headline: 20 alleged male prostitutes, some under the age of 15, working at a bar on Soi Paradise, were rounded up in a sting operation.

“Using banknotes with pre-recorded serial numbers, the officers paid for sexual services from six boys under 18 years of age, including two 14 year olds, and then made the arrests… The fact that the boys willingly engaged in prostitution has little bearing on the charges,” the Gazette reported.

Such an effective effort by police makes the recent months of officers ending up empty handed after raiding nightlife venues in hopes of finding illegal workers look quaint. But maybe, just maybe, officers ten years ago did such a good job that there aren’t any illegals left operating on the island.

Well, of course, there will always be just a few that can’t afford to pay for tea and end up surfacing here and there, such as the man running sex shows on Soi Bangla who was outed by pop star Rihanna via Twitter in 2013.

This issue also detailed the budget for the Rawai Pier, which has become a staple landmark for the southern tip of the island, and even has Stephen Fein, who still wields the pen for the Gazette‘s editorials, discussing his battle with lower-back pain. However, the real kicker is the Time Machine (October 15, 2000): Protests cause park fee increase to be postponed.

The implementation of the dramatic increase in park fees, which were to only apply to foreigners, was pushed back from September 13 to October 1, 2001. The fee for a foreign adult was to jump from 10 baht to 200 baht.

Twenty years later, almost to the day, a foreign-faced, American citizen who was born and raised in Phuket – and very much Thai at heart – worked up a social media frenzy about double-pricing at Emerald Pool, Krabi. He refused to pay his 200 baht.

To read the entire October 15-21, 2005 issue, check out the Phuket Gazette archives online (here) – or, for those who have been around awhile, start cleaning out the attic.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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